Defining unacceptable HLA antigens

Andrea A. Zachary, Robert A. Montgomery, Mary S. Leffell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Neither the concept nor the formal application of unacceptable antigens is new. However, identification of unacceptable antigens is now sufficiently accurate to be used as a virtual crossmatch, which can both prevent the unnecessary shipment of organs and increase the access for sensitized patients. RECENT FINDINGS: Desensitization protocols and an increasing array of cell-depleting agents can overcome the immunological barriers to transplantation for some patients, reducing the risk of graft rejection to an acceptable level. Increasingly sensitive and specific assays for identifying HLA antigens and antibodies are providing more accurate definition of incompatibilities. Additionally, tests of various biomarkers may permit characterization of responder types. SUMMARY: The definition of unacceptable antigens is determined by the clinical protocols and the physiological and immunological characteristics of the recipient and donor. These data should be integrated to maximize the opportunity for transplantation. The development of additional tests to assess a patient's capacity for recognizing and responding to a transplant will improve the identification of incompatible donor-recipient pairs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-410
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in organ transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008


  • Antibody
  • Desensitization
  • Immunosuppression
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation


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